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Summer Student 2022: Rita Correia

Summer Student 2022: Rita Correia

Development of hydrogel-based scaffolds for new
drug delivery systems

Supervisor name and institution: Dr Adam Celiz, Imperial College London

Project summary:

Hydrogels are highly hydrated mesh networks of natural or synthetic macromolecules. This class of materials are often used for drug delivery in the biomedical field as they are versatile and compatible with the human body, while also protecting the drug from deterioration.

However, there are limits to the application of hydrogels for drug delivery, as it is hard to control drug absorption rates. Fabricating smart hydrogels to enable the release of drugs upon specific instructions represents a unique possibility for the controlled release of drugs in desired conditions. For instance, hydrogels can be designed to release drugs under mechanical stimulation (e.g. compression or high stress), or temperature variation.

In my project, I will develop an hydrogel scaffold that can be implanted into the body and release drugs under determined mechanical stimulation. This is a multidisciplinary project allowing me to develop skills in wet lab and organic chemistry, mechanical characterization of materials, and drug release.

Animals project will replace: Mice and rats.

Get to know Rita…

I am Portuguese and have always been interested in bioengineering.

I am interested in vitro models for drug screening for the fact that this stops animal testing and provides more reliable results, which is why I chose to focus on this in my project over the summer.

The Summer Student Programme will help me on my journey to get a PhD in this area of research, helping me continue my animal free research career, which is super important to me as I have always been an apologist for animals and that is why I am vegan.

This project is part of tissue engineering, which is hopefully what I will complete my masters on.


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Page last modified on July 6, 2022 1:56 pm